A few factors that can make or a break a playoff season
Here we go.
And it should be an interesting ride, shouldn’t it?
Let’s get to this one right off the bat because it’s the question that I know is on any minds:
Is it a playoff team?
Well, that’s a tough one, obviously, but given what they are and what the East is, today I’d say yes, as long as a few things fall into place.
Like these three:
Win the ones you need to win
I know, I know. I’m never one to go the “this is a game they should win” route because it’s never that easy but I will say this.
They can’t afford to lose to the Philadelphias, the Phoenixes, the Orlandos, the Charlottes of the league and hope to have a legitimate post-season hope. Taking care of business – home or away – is what good, veteran teams do, they pile up wins against seemingly weaker opponents and try to steal one or two from teams that have more talent.
They can’t afford to give away any games, it’s that simple.
Survive the start
No, there is no back-breaking, season-ruining trip out west in the first few weeks of the season and that’s not only a good thing for them, it’s a good thing for me, too; more time with the loved ones, fewer hard long trips is always good.
But Dwane called the first month “a booger” and he’s probably right, six of the first nine away, Miami twice in the first month and they need to survive it.
And since we’ve known since July that Masai is going to take the first 15 or 20 games to figure out what he’s got, surviving the start is in everyone’s best interest.
Try to stay healthy
This is the biggest variable, and the biggest concern. I’m certainly not sold on the bench right now – Dwane has said he needs to keep one or two of his top players on the court at all times – and if one of the starters goes down for an extended period, it’s curtains.
Now, everyone’s going to miss a handful of games with some kind of boo-boo, that’s just a fact. But they cannot have any prolonged absences.
Look, I don’t think anyone can say with any certainty how this team will perform or what it’s ultimate destiny is because so many different factors come in to play and some of them are totally random and entirely out of their control.
What if other teams struggle or thrive? What if Boston’s better than everyone thinks or the Knicks implode or Atlanta takes a giant step backwards or the new mix in Washington just doesn’t work well.
So much of one team’s fate is tied to that of others that no one can possibly know what the future holds.
It’s why they play the games and run the course of the schedule, there will be nights when they look awful and the sky will be falling and nights when they look great and the printers will be looking at playoff ticket formats.
It will be – I’m sure – the typical rollercoaster ride and I bet it will be fun.
So buckle up, remember the words of wisdom:
Don’t get too high after a win, don’t get to down after a loss.
It’s a long slog, sit back and enjoy the ride. I plan to.
This is pretty good, no?
Don’t forget we’ll be here at noon to answer questions for an hour so, we’re moving it up from tomorrow to kick off opening day. But if you have something on your mind and can’t be around, the mail is really low. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take care of you.
There’s this!!! Thirty-five years in the business, first time I did a video about a stuffed animal.
Aside from the fact the crack Raptors media relation guru J. LaBumbard may be able to squeeze some courtside seats for us tonight, I guess the one big difference around the ACC court will be the big BMO advertising logos in front of each bench.
The only surprise about the new ads is that they are in only two arenas, I’m stunned that more haven’t gone that route before Indy and Toronto did and I’m sure they will.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of them – but they are less intrusive and bothersome than the abomination of the 3-D logo on the baselines – but I also see the inevitability that they would arrive.
Everything is for sale these days – seat covers, courtside signage, the June Taylor Dancers are now sponsored, for goodness sakes – and once they started down that slippery slope, the next steps were easy to take.
They are not quite subtle – you can’t not see them if you’re either watching the game on TV or in the arena because they are out of bounds right by the team benches – but they aren’t as splashy as I feared.
But it is another thin edge of the wedge, I wonder which team will be the first to actually put an ad on the court, inside the lines.
And riddle me this: Would anyone be shocked two years hence when a new look and colour scheme and logo are unveiled if there wasn’t a small advertising component?
No one’s said it but I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
Yes, IGBT tonight, be here just before 7 p.m., please. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Here’s how Murph sets up the Celtics season in the pages of the Herald.
Given the way the World Series has gone, who among us thinks whatever transpires in Game 6 tonight will be in any way normal.
This has been a rather fascinating series with gaffes and controversy and great close games and it deserves a seventh game, doesn’t it?
Besides, I can’t watch tonight and need to have a quiet night in Atlanta with something to do Thursday before I wake up Friday and loaf in bed watching Mike and Mike dissect the series.
Sounds like a good morning, no?